Protesters target ‘gombeen’ Shane Ross’s house

Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group rallies outside Minister’s home in latest action

Videograb showing protesters outside Minister for Transport Shane Ross’s home on Sunday. Photograph: Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group/Facebook

A protest group that has previously gathered outside the home of Minister for Health Simon Harris held a similar event on Sunday outside the home of Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

The Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group, which numbered four members outside Mr Ross's home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, made a statement while standing at the locked gates of the property.

Mr Ross posted a message online confirming the protest but added that it had been peaceful. Efforts to contact him on Sunday for further comment were not successful. The Garda had yet to comment on the incident.

A man who read the statement on behalf of the group referred to Mr Ross as a “Blueshirt so-called Independent” who was also “a typical gombeen politician”.


He said Mr Ross had run for election claiming to be an anti-establishment candidate, "only to jump into bed" with Fine Gael to become a Minister in Government.

The unidentified man said Mr Ross was intent on “running down” public transport so it could be privatised. He was a “voice in support of the garrison class”, as well as a representative of “the bankers, the landlords, the speculators and developers” and “an enemy of the working class”.

The Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group has staged protests outside the houses of a number of public figures, seeking to highlight an eclectic mix of issues.

The group’s protests consist of a small number of people, usually six or less, standing outside the home of a prominent person holding signs saying “Bring it to their doors”.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris recently said any effort to intimidate public figures at their homes would not be tolerated. However, the recent Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group gatherings have been very minor, poorly supported events.

The group has called to the home of Minister for Health Simon Harris a number of times this year, to protest against evictions.

During one afternoon last month, the group called to Mr Harris's home in Greystones, Co Wicklow, and the home of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive and chairman Seán FitzPatrick.

The range of issues they sought to highlight included the fact Mr FitzPatrick “never apologised”, the number of people “dying on hospital trolleys”, the cost of the new children’s hospital, evictions and waiting lists for women with cervical cancer and children needing healthcare.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times